Computer names… what’s next?

For some years now we’ve named our home computers after characters in Tintin.

First we had Tintin and Snowy, both desktops.

Snowy was replaced with Haddock.

The two of them were joined for a little while by Nestor, which was called that because it was a server.

Tintin and friends greet Armstrong

Haddock broke down (probably a motherboard failure, I suspect), and has been replaced by a secondhand 2008-model Mac Pro, which given it’s much brainier, we called Calculus. (If you ever manage to get a secondhand Mac Pro, I recommend them. They make excellent desktop PCs, even if you run Windows, which the 2008 and later models do easily via BootCamp. This beast may be old, but the build quality is fantastic, it’s still fast and rock solid.)

I also got a laptop, which given it moves around and visits various parts of the world (well, okay, various parts of the state), I called Alcazar.

Now Tintin is set to be replaced, by another Mac Pro. The question is, what should we call it?

One idea is that, given the two Mac Pros will be near-identical, we rename the existing one and call them Thomson and Thompson, but let’s face it, that’d be too confusing.

Perhaps it’s time to start re-using names.

Ideas?

Oh, and while I’ve got you, can any Mac people recommend a TV tuner (preferably dual tuner) that will work with the Mac Pro in both OSX and Windows/Media Center?

My verdict on the Tintin movie

Look! It’s Tintin on a bus…
Tintin on a bus

And here’s Tintin on a tram (and a tram in Tintin)…
Tintin on a tram / a tram in Tintin

So anyway, we went to the Tintin movie yesterday — in 2D, as 3D doesn’t work on me. I enjoyed it a lot. They did a good job of recreating the look of Herge, and there were plenty of references to keep Tintin nerds like me entertained.

The first half of the movie had a lot of bits of Tintin stories all mushed together, and it was a bit like watching a rock concert, recognising the start of a scene, but being keen to see how they used the material.

[Limited spoilers ahead]
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NASA to prove Herge right?

Tintin and friends landed on the moon in 1952, some 17 years before Apollo 11 got there.

Tintin and friends greet Armstrong

While writing the story, Herge and his team researched what the moon would look like on the surface, and as anybody who’s read the book would know, it’s uncannily accurate.

After Apollo 11 made it to the Moon, it seemed that Herge had got only one thing wrong: in the story, Tintin and Haddock observed stalactites and stalagmites in a lunar cave, and then after falling down a crevice found ice.

…the existence of ice on the moon came about at the insistence of [adviser] Dr Bernard Heuvelmans. Herge had agonised about the question, not at all sure if he agreed with the prevalent scientific evidence that the moon was an icy place, but Heuvelmans’ advice won the day.

– “Tintin — Herge and his creation”, Harry Thompson, p146

Tintin discovers water on the moon

Now NASA have sent a probe to the Moon which may prove Herge (and Heuvelmans) right after all — they’re looking for the presence of water and ice. It seems a rather unsubtle method — crashing the probe into the Moon’s south pole — but the expected debris cloud hasn’t been seen, and it may be a little while until they know if water has been detected or not.

Some silly things

A fire in Springvale, to which the CFA responds. C’mon, Springvale. What is this, 1960? East of Westall Road isn’t paddocks anymore. Surely it’s time to re-draw the MFB/CFA boundaries?

The metro/country taxi boundaries are similar, aren’t they? Time for an update.

Odd. I found a quarterly magazine that retails for $7, but is $44 per year by subscription?!

What’s with those fake Tintin t-shirts? “Tintin in Vietnam”? They’re not even taking the mickey out of the characters, they’re just making stuff up. Why?

Finally… if you get the opportunity to speak to the world, don’t waste it. Use your canvas wisely. Aim to impart great knowledge. Communicate your ideas to make society better. Say something meaningful.
The intellectuals have been busy